A Moment for Mission
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” – Acts 2:42, NRSV
With the coronavirus disrupting lives worldwide, General Conference 2020 organizers determined in mid-March that they had no choice but to postpone The United Methodist Church's top legislative assembly. The event was scheduled for May 5-15 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A new date has not yet been decided.
United Methodist support of the General Administration Fund pays for expenses of the General Conference, the Judicial Council, special commissions and committees constituted by the General Conference, and more.
Apportionments help to pay expenses of delegates; operations (convention center and equipment rental, publishing, petition-tracking software, worship, labor); language services (printed translation of advance materials and spoken interpretation on site); the offices of General Conference secretary, business manager and treasurer; and commissions and committees in support of the event.
The changing global nature of the church is due in part to United Methodism’s rapidly growing membership in central conferences. The percentage of delegates from central conferences has increased significantly, from 16 percent in 2000 to 44 percent in 2020. This change has resulted in two of the four major cost drivers increasing significantly: language/translation services and travel.
Eight years ago, the Commission on the General Conference launched a ministry partner program with the intent of creating an income stream that may permit the payment of some of the accumulated costs. This program will continue through the 2024 General Conference.
Your congregation’s support of the General Administration Fund apportionment is critical to General Conference. Thank you!
Loving God, guide our General Conference delegates to lead your church into the future through teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday of Easter — Consoling and Guiding God, we bring our offerings and our very lives to your altar this morning. Many of us come feeling like we are in the midst of a storm, with disagreement and discord buffeting us from all directions. Help us to hear your voice in the midst of this, your call to serve, and your encouragement to endure for the work of the kingdom. Lead us to the light and hope of this Easter season, so we can joyfully and faithfully serve you in the world! In the name of Jesus, our rock and redeemer, we pray. Amen. (I Peter 2:19-25)
In an epistle to the early Christians, the apostle Paul offered advice that is just as relevant to the church today. Consider these words from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” (Ephesians 4):
“You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.” (verses 4-6)
“We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.” (verses 15-16)
We pray that whenever our elected delegates gather for General Conference, they will open themselves to God’s guidance.